It’s debatable, whether a new business needs to put its focus towards building a sustainable email list, right off the bat. You will have those agreeing, and those disagreeing, but one thing is for certain – if you’re managing an email list, better make sure it’s engaging, otherwise you’re just wasting your own and your customers time. Google updates, new algorithms and new psychological research data might help us predict the next step of our customers, but what better way than predicting if not asking them directly? It’s worth remembering that your email list is not controlled by outsider rules, and you’re in complete charge. Customers trust you, that is why they subscribed in the first place. Forget about the fear of being utterly one-sided, and begin asking direct questions that may, or may not make an impact on your sales. Any market that is being talked about, written about and most importantly: researched about, is going to end up growing and expanding naturally, offering new ways of doing things. In this case, giving us the ability to send emails with dynamic content, tailor our newsletters to specific readers and even know when they’re reading their emails the most, so we know when to send the details of our next product launch. #1. Feature Your Intellectual, Engaging Customers in Your Newsletter Every day, you share at least one new piece of content. It can sometimes not be from your own site, but you’re most likely managing your social media platforms on daily basis, and so there is always constant stream of new ideas and things to talk about. You’ve got customers to treat, and sometimes these customers are treating you back by engaging in an intellectual and engaging conversation about that what you’ve shared. Why not take it a step further, and feature some of these discussions you’re having inside of your next newsletter? It might not seem like the best idea straight away, but it can actually increase the chances of your other customers doing the same thing, and why not? It would only encourage more people to do the same thing, whether they know it or not. Your customers – and people in general – will love to get featured in front of thousands of others, so make it worth their time and perhaps play around with it. #2. Make Sharing Content as Easy as Possible It’s good to know that our customers are people just like us, and they also share content across their social platforms, just like we do. It is also worth knowing that some of our customers don’t read our business blogs, and instead – get their ‘fix’ trough the email newsletters that you send them. With this in mind, it’s good to remember that we should enable and give our customers the ability to share content directly from their email client, as seamlessly as we would in a blog post. It’s now possible, and most modern email delivery networks will offer the ability to integrate social sharing buttons. You should go as far as including your social media links, and even encourage to follow you, if that is what you’re currently after, but remember to offer a sharing button for each piece of the content you’re sharing in the newsletter. You’re saving your customers time, at this point – worrying about a few extra buttons is not really an option. #3. Create an Emotional Campaign to Meet Your Customers This one can really make a difference to how your customers are engaging with you, even how they perceive you and how seriously they take you. It involves building a deeper connection, by offering the ability to meet you and your business team in real-life, most likely through a meetup or a party you’re hosting. It sounds more difficult than it actually is, and what matters is that you’re going that extra mile to connect with your customers, and even those who won’t attend, will appreciate the effort, and look at your business much, much more differently. Figure out where most of your customers live, and begin brainstorming ways of how you could make a meetup happen, what it would involve and what you’d like to accomplish at the end of the night. It’s hard work, but it’s ultimately the best way of keeping and retaining your customer base. Once the idea has been accepted within the company itself, send out an introductory email to your customers in the specific area (or a specific country) a few weeks early, to help plan everything accordingly and see what the response is going to be like. Encourage ideas, feedback and suggestions. Conclusion You’re bound to succeed, and increase the engagement rate of your email subscribers by an incredible amount, if you’re willing to invest the right amount of time and energy into these practices. I think that the first two are very easy to accomplish, while the third one might be more difficult and also require an investment from your side. Images: ”E-mail marketing post it in business man hand / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. 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